Monday, August 30, 2010

Big Day Downtown (Part IV): MEC, Just Us, & Freak Lunchbox

Going into my last Big Day Downtown, I had $66.75. Coming out, I am left with a single cent that I am afraid I will be unable to spend. Even if I could find something that only cost a penny, I doubt I could buy it with a Visa gift card. Let's run down the day's purchases :)

Stop 1: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)

Mountain Equipment Co-op
When I went to university, I used to make fun of all the Upper-Canadians going to my school with their MEC backpacks all snooty and such. Well, call me a hypocrite, because I am so happy that MEC decided to open a store in Halifax. Since it arrived on the corner of Granville and Blowers Streets back in 2001, I've shopped there many, many times. It's close to where I work, it's right across the street from where I park my car, and well, they just sell so much cool stuff. Very soon, I'm planning to go buy some camping equipment from them, including some sleeping bags for Julie and I. It's a very easy place to spend money, not to mention their kick-ass website! If they don't have something in stock at the store, you can order it online and have it delivered to the store at no charge. That is service.

Downstairs at MEC
Since I had to restrain myself to spending only 67 bucks during this visit, I bought a nice fleece for the upcoming cooler fall weather, and a 14L waterproof stuff sack to contain my wares and keep them dry as they sit in my pack.

FYI, if you'd like to help with my MEC addiction, please visit my wish list. I keep it up to date :)

It's freezing out here! Maybe there's something in this bag This looks like a nice fleecy jacket I think this'll fit All warm now

MEC Watchtower fleece + MEC Roll Top Stuff Sack + tax = $64.98
Left to spend: $1.77

Stop 2: Just Us Cafe

Just Us! Cafe
One of the fine baristas at Just Us!Anyone who knows me (and some of my previous Big Day Downtown posts will confirm this) knows that my drug of choice is caffeine. It gets me up in the morning, keeps me going all day, and puts me to bed at night (in tea form, preferably orange pekoe or Earl Grey, thanks). And the dealer I frequent most often is Just Us on Barrington Street. I try as much as I can to remember to bring my re-usable mug with me when I go here because they have a very sensible policy of only stamping your loyalty card when you buy a coffee in your own mug. I think that is a great way to gently nudge people to use less disposable products. Smart thinking, Just Us!

I had a mug full of the darkest roast they had brewed.

Mug full o' coffee + tax = $1.48
Left to spend: $0.29

Stop 3: Freak Lunchbox

Freak Lunchbox
At this point, I had 29 cents left on my Visa gift card, so there was not much choice in the matter. There is only one store that I could think of where I could buy something for 29 cents, let alone with a Visa. I walked the block north to Freak Lunchbox, enlisted the help of one of the friendly staff and manged to purchase an amount of chocolate-covered coffee beans that came to as close as possible to my $0.29 when tax was added. I walked back to my office munching on $0.28 worth, or about 15 beans :)

~15 chocolate-covered coffee beans + tax = $0.28
Amount remaining unspent: $0.01

And so that brings to an end of my Big Day Downtown money, I sure enjoyed spending it!

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